Kristin Kirkpatrick: November message

Together We Grow members,

While we now have more clarity about the election, what has been clear since last Tuesday is that we are a nation deeply divided.

When I think about the promise of Together We Grow, to build the workforce that will power the tremendous innovation needed to meet our future challenges feeding the globe, I am buoyed by our ability to sow seeds of unity. We have come to the table in good faith, as competitors and collaborators. We are reaching for a goal that we have no choice but to face — our future is an unavoidable reality. However, the necessity of our goal does not make it any less ambitious. I may even posit that our collective goal is audacious in its grandeur.

What I do think history has proven over and over again is that we are more likely to succeed when we work together, especially when the goal is a moon shot. Our togetherness is the competitive advantage.

When I think about Together We Grow, I am not only hopeful about the work we have tasked ourselves with, but I extend that optimism ever further to suggest that agriculture may be the industry uniquely positioned to bring the country together. Our companies and our institutions have an incredible reach. We are in some of the reddest of red counties, and also in some of the most deeply blue zip codes in this country. Your teams are having conversations with customers, students, and vendors every single day.

I am reminded of a conversation with one of our members, ruminating on how we bring our customers along with us on our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey. As we reach out with our products, our programs, our services, I wonder if we are uniquely positioned to build resiliency. Resiliency that will strengthen our industry and our ability to continue to feed the world — and maybe strengthen the social fabric of our nation.

With seeds of hope,



This message was included in Together We Grow’s November newsletter. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Kristin Kirkpatrick, Executive Director, Together We Grow

Kristin Kirkpatrick is the Executive Director for Together We Grow and the Center for an Enhanced Workforce in Agribusiness, located at Colorado State University. In this role, Kristin works alongside a consortium of many of the world’s largest agribusiness interests, including members of industry, non-governmental organizations, higher education, and government institutions. Together We Grow is focused on building a skilled, diverse, and inclusive agricultural workforce that can power the innovation needed to feed the future.   

Kristin has always had a passion for systems change that creates more equitable opportunities and has done this work through the lenses of public health, policy advocacy, and community development. Most recently, she helped lead Kimbal Musk’s national nonprofit Big Green, which integrates food literacy education into school curriculums across the country.

Kristin has been an instructor with the Colorado School of Public Health at CSU and served as Chief of Wellness Planning for Bellisimo Development Inc., helping lead the master planning, design, and actualization of the award-winning Bucking Horse and landmark Jessup Farm projects in Fort Collins, Colo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from CSU and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado.